Studying For the Bar Exam On An iPhone is a Bad Idea

BarBri recently added an iPod option for their bar prep class, which allows students to listen to lectures rather than actually attend them. It also costs students an additional $700.

Now a new app called BarMax allows students to prepare for the bar on their iPhone (for now, only in California). At $999.99, the app is cheaper than a bar prep class.

The app contains lectures, practice essays, practice multiple choice questions, tests, and flash cards. In theory, the app gives you everything BarBri does, but in an electronic format.

In my opinion, the daily lectures from BarBri did not seem particularly useful. A friend of mine just had the books, and he passed, just like me. If you are self-motivated, I think just studying the books is enough to pass.

But studying off a small iPhone screen could quickly get annoying. Most students are not used to reading everything on a computer screen. Especially not one the size of an iPhone. The other problem is that students cannot take notes and highlight on an iPhone. The company maintains you can request electronic paperwork for some sections. I’m not convinced that solves the problem though.

If BarMax decides to provide more paper materials, I think this is a very workable idea. Even though I am paperless now, I cannot imagine studying for hours on a tiny iPhone screen.

(photo: erindipity)


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  • I agree with you. I can’t see reading / researching cases on a phone either, but maybe it’s a generational thing?

  • Randall Ryder

    I think it would helpful as a supplementary study device, but I cannot fathom pouring through all that material on a tiny screen.

  • Vesco

    I just bought a HDMI cable and hooked up my iphone to a 22 inch screen, added a wireless bluetooth keyboard and can make use of the app.